ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The lights at Rockford’s Coronado Performing Arts Center will be back on this weekend, for the first time since March of last year.
The hiatus has allowed the theater to bring on some new changes and safety protocols.
“Oh, it’s a new era,” said Friends of the Coronado’s executive director, Beth Howard. “It’s absolutely a new era and this theater has had several eras, and this is a new one.”
According to assistant general manager Doug Johnson, safety is the top priority for the theater’s reopening.
“In the venue world, they haven’t really gave [sic] us protocols, so we’ve done our own,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing: the cleaning, the extensive cleaning. And, we’re requiring masks, regardless of vaccinations or no vaccinations.”
Audiences can expect some convenience changes, as well.
“We have contactless exchanges for tickets and things like that. We’re going cashless. That will help a lot of people. We have our protocols and what we expect from our patrons, about everything we’re doing here,” he added.
Howard said, “As the foundation, we just tried to keep the projects going…we had some lighting restoration on the inside, as well as continuing the fundraising and planning and other project that are coming in the pretty near future.”
With many shows planned for the fall, the Coronado staff say they are more than prepared to welcome back audiences.
“We missed our community, and we know this theater is capable of programming additional events here, and I think that’s the change you’re going to see,” Howard added.
The theater will open on Friday for a free movie screening of The Croods: A New Age at 7 p.m., followed by a performance by the Beatles tribute band, The Fab Four, on Saturday. Tickets are available on the Coronado’s website.